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  • Writer's pictureFrances Roen

Inflation Can Create Opportunities For Nonprofits

Updated: May 29

It might just be the new four letter word (+ five)…#inflation. And, it looks like it may be here to stay for an unwelcome little while.

Last June, I did heart-to-heart complimentary #coaching calls for development professionals looking for advice and guidance on their most pressing issues. On multiple calls, the subject of inflation and how to address it with donors has been the topic of conversation.

Just like with many things in life there are two sides to this coin (pun intended):

Inflation has already robbed nonprofits of almost 8 percent of the value of donations they received last year.

A picture of two leaves sprouting from a pile of pennies against a gray background.


Inflation creates #opportunities for #nonprofits.

So, let’s focus on the positive

opportunities that inflation creates:

An opportunity to talk to your #donors.

Everyone is experiencing rising prices, yet it can be easy to forget that inflation really means that the value of the #dollar is decreasing. It’s likely that costs for your nonprofit are soaring—food for your food shelf, paper for your office, gas for your activity van. While a donation of $20 used to purchase 10 gallons of milk for your food shelf, it doesn’t anymore. Donors need to know this, so don’t be afraid to bring it up in conversation. You might be pleasantly surprised at the dialogue that follows!

An #opportunity to adjust your appeals and update your website.

Sharing, in a one-on-one conversation with a donor, how inflation is changing your nonprofit’s ability to meet needs is only part of it, don’t forget those spots where your message is articulated in print. Make sure the giving levels on your website and in your appeals are in line with the costs of delivering those services. If $20 only purchases 5 gallons of milk right now, make sure that is what you are messaging.

An opportunity to highlight additional ways to #give.

Although the stock market has had a rough start to 2022, historically it tends to do well during periods of high inflation. This means that donors may be more inclined to give from appreciated stock or to use funds that have already been set aside for charitable giving (such as donor advised funds). Make sure you are highlighting your ability to accept these types of donations. Now is also a great time to reboot that planned giving program and talk with donors about gifts after their lifetime like bequests or beneficiary designations.

How are you talking with your donors about inflation? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Drop us a comment below.

Photo by micheile dot com on Unsplash


Frances Roen is a Georgia girl at heart, and has been graciously adopted by beautiful, snowy Minnesota. She is a forty-something daughter, friend, mom, wife, and entrepreneur, and is always on the look-out for a perfectly fried piece of chicken.

Frances is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) with nearly 20 years of experience fundraising and has raised over $200M for nonprofits. She has held fundraising positions at The Bakken Museum, Augustana Care Corporation, and YouthLink and consulted with dozens of nonprofits clients across the globe. In these roles she has been responsible for all aspects of fundraising including comprehensive campaigns, major and planned gifts, annual funds, events, communications, corporate partnerships and volunteers.


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